This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Gareth Southgate has hailed Dele Alli’s return to form in his favoured position for Tottenham Hotspur, per Sky Sports.
Alli has been excellent for Spurs since Jose Mourinho’s appointment as manager, scoring three goals in three games, including a brace against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
The performances come after he was left out of Southgate’s last two England squads, while Sky reports that Mourinho asked him, upon his appointment, if he was the real Alli or merely an imposter who was actually his brother.
And with the Three Lions boss preparing for Euro 2020 next summer, he has admitted that the 23-year-old’s form is good news for his club and his country.
He said: “Jose has played him as a No 10 and that’s his best position, having the freedom to run on into the box. That has been very clear for a long time.
“So it’s great he’s back on the scoring trail.”
Spurs, of course, have a number of English players, including Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Eric Dier and Southgate is hopeful they will be in fine form come the end of the season.
He added: “At the moment they are fighting to get into Tottenham’s team and pleasing their manager there, so if the consequence of that is that they are in form for us then for sure (playing at the Euros) will be in the players’ minds, but at this stage of the season they are thinking about their clubs.”
It appeared clear to everyone but Mauricio Pochettino that Alli’s best position was in the No.10 role behind Kane.
Mourinho can see it and has reverted Alli into that role, while Southgate can too.
While there are a number of options there for Southgate – the likes of Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Ross Barkley, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and Leicester City’s James Maddison can all be deployed in that No.10 role – Alli is perhaps best equipped for it.
He has experience and form; he has travelled to two major tournaments already, playing at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup and has 37 caps to his name.
If he is fit and firing, he will surely be in Southgate’s plans; if he keeps up this scoring rate, he may well be the first name on the team sheet.
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